Thursday + Gregory Huffstutter = The Ad Man Answers
After a busy holidays, the Ad Man is back… well rested, well fed, and still well connected.
To begin the New Year, let’s peer into the future and tackle this burning question: In 2020, is it possible your publishing contract will not be with Penguin or Hyperion, but with Ford Motors?
In this week’s Ad Age, columnist Craig Daitch talks about the latest versions of in-dash, in-car technology:
“Cars aren't cars anymore, they're productivity hubs with entertainment extensions on four wheels.
And why shouldn't they be? We spend an inordinate amount of time in our vehicles. By today's standards, some experts believe that number exceeds three hours per day. So as provoking as a thought this may be, is it difficult to imagine a time when the auto manufacturers subsidize in-vehicle technology through advertising? What brand wouldn't want to be pervasively integrated into a vehicle's GPS unit?
Even today, is it really not feasible to think that GM's OnStar service couldn't provide pay-per-click (or even pay-per-visit) smart results based on customer inquiries? Think about the following scenario:
Driver: Hi, I'm looking for the closest gas station.
OnStar: You are 0.5 miles away from a Shell but 0.6 miles from a BP, where you can use a discount code to save 15%.”
Brands always seek points of differentiation. This could be in the form or actual benefits – like Hyundai’s lose-your-job-we’ll-make-your-payments Assurance program – or the warm fuzzy you feel about AT&T because they sponsored free streaming video of the Coachella concert festival (unlike those cheap-asses at Verizon).
Artists have already started pairing off with alternative distribution outlets. You’ve got Pearl Jam’s latest album being sold exclusively at Target, The Police’s latest tour DVD only available at Best Buy, and Starbucks creating their own music label.
have been slower to the game. But
last month it was announced that Steven Covey – “The 7 Habits of Highly
Effective People” and “Principle-Centered Leadership” – will be producing
exclusive content for the Amazon Kindle, including his soon-to-be released “Great
Work, Great Career.”
to our original question… if in-car technology will allow for seamless
integration of streaming music, facebook updates, iPhone apps, location-based
services… how soon before fast, easy and exclusive assess to audiobooks is
added to the mix?
After all, what could be more appealing to a heavy commuter in the year 2020 than turning on one’s Chevy Volt to hear your computerized dashboard say:
“Good morning, Gregory, your estimated drive time will be 92 minutes. I’m afraid your favorite radio program – KROQ’s ‘Kevin & Bean’ show – is in repeats this morning. May I suggest the latest Alex Cross mystery, ‘Kiss The Nursing Home Girls,’ by James Patterson, as dictated to his granddaughter. It’s brought to you exclusively by Chevy for the discount price of $7.99. Please say ‘I accept’ to begin streaming your audiobook…”
What do you think – future or fantasy?
Gregory Huffstutter has been punching Ad Agency timecards for the past dozen years, working on accounts like McDonald's, KIA Motors, Suzuki Automotive, and the San Diego Padres. His first mystery, KATZ CRADLE is on submission while he's working on the sequel. The first 100 pages of his novel are linked here. For general advertising questions, leave a comment or send e-mail to katz @ gregoryhuffstutter dot com with 'Ask The Ad Man' in the subject line.